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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

Clare Higgins: An investment we’ll never regret: better education for 4-year-olds

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I read something in the paper almost every week about pre-kindergarten as the key to school success. States like Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are offering free admission to pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds. New York City started its program for 4-year-olds last September. Some of these programs are full day and some are half day. Some are full year and some follow the school calendar. From the federal government and …

Larry Parnass: A Gazette humorist’s secrets revealed

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette newsroom just isn’t the same these days without: a) An Air Force veteran proud of saying, “I served my country in Rome (pause) Rome, N.Y.” b) A skilled paginator who threw himself like an aggrieved terrier at blank pages. c) One architect of the Gazette News Quiz. d) The …

Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters were being driven “in droves” to the polling places, he had said. The comment, an …

Jim Foudy: How the late David Carr both analyzed and embodied modern media

Friday, February 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It is hard to lose a hero. New York Times media reporter David Carr was one of mine and his passing last week at 58 leaves a big hole. I considered his Media Equation column a must-read. He wrote about publishing, television and the impact of …

Forget it, liberals: Warren is not running for president

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sorry to break the bad news to all you dreamy-eyed liberals, but it’s time to stop wishin’ and hopin’: Elizabeth Warren isn’t running for president. Really and truly. Progressive Democrats have bombarded her office with postcards, signed online petitions and stood in the snow waving signs to get …

Malcolm X as relevant now as at his death 50 years ago

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X was brutally murdered in New York City. With his assassination, the United States missed a chance to fully address some of the racial issues that persist to this day. …

Andrew Larkin: Riddles of a frozen Connecticut River

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last fall I wrote on this page that the Connecticut River might freeze this winter because of the closing of the nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont, and the loss of its thermal pollution of the river. …

Tracey Belliveau: My father’s hospice care at Northampton VA came with compassion — and cats

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — “I’ve got bad news.” This was the beginning of a phone conversation with my 91-year-old father, Robert L. Belliveau, from his bed in Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Doctors would not be able to operate on his failing …

Adam Fisher: A scholar who moves like a moth to hypocrisy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My friend Brian Victoria, a Zen monk and author of “Zen at War,” is a pain in the patoot. But because he is a pain in the patoot, I know him as a friend I value …

Peter Vickery: Free speech offers the best route to truth

Monday, February 16, 2015

AMHERST — Two recent letters to the editor of the Gazette suggest taking legal action against people who challenge the prevailing consensus on climate change. A Florence resident wrote that Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, all of whom were lawfully elected, should …

John Paradis: Enduring love across the decades. Yes, it’s possible

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Tomorrow is the feast of St. Valentine, the third-century martyr who, according to history and legend, was persecuted, tortured and ultimately beheaded by the Romans for proselytizing and for performing secret Christian marriages. Another tale says he was killed because the Emperor Claudius didn’t want young …

Doug Hall: Obama budget for 2016 a step in the right direction

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 2, President Obama released a budget outline for fiscal year 2016 that should be widely popular with the American people. The $4 trillion proposal is only a starting point for lengthy budget negotiations in the Republican-controlled Congress; however, it does provide important detail about …

Barry Hirsch: Let’s be real about Obama-Netanyahu fracture

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Fleitman’s column Feb. 3 defending Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the Congress attempts to portray a U.S. president who has repeatedly missed clear opportunities to shape a more stable Middle East and has consistently disrespected Netanyahu. Most of us know there is not much in …